Gather ’round, boys and girls – let’s talk about Insomniac’s new Spider-Man game. 

PlayStation recently flew us up to Sydney for an extensive (almost three hour) hands on with the upcoming PS4 exclusive Spider-Man. We came away very impressed, and while you’ll be able to read more about it in the September issue of the mag, we’d like to discuss a few things here.

Firstly – why is nobody talking about the fact that you can do tricks?! Of course, web swinging is obviously an important part of any Spider-Man game, and Insomniac’s version is up there with the best, but we haven’t seen anyone mention the fact that tricks are unlockable skill – which is pretty cool. When you level up, you can use skill points to improve your gadgets, combat, and manoeuvrability; one of which unlocks the ability to do tricks using the triangle and circle buttons whilst swinging. It’s a small addition, sure, but it emphasises the youthfulness of Peter, and you get a few extra XP for doing it.

Secondly – combos are important. Chaining combos while battling baddies fills up your focus meter, which you can then use to either finish someone off with a special attack or replenish some of your health. If it were us, we’d be stashing that bar for health boosts, because you’ll find yourself needing them more often than not.

Lastly – playing as Mary Jane is a lot of fun. It’s nice that in Insomniac’s Spider-Man world she’s not just an actress, she’s a journalist for the Daily Bugle, and as such finds herself caught in Peter’s web (not sorry) while he’s out on his superhero escapades. While of course she’s not swinging around taking down bad guys, instead she’s hunting for clues, piecing together crime scenes, and solving puzzles to carve her own way in the world. Don’t recoil when we say ‘stealth’ either; we haven’t experienced any instant fail stealth – yet. She’s a genuinely interesting addition to the game, and not something that feels added-on after the fact. Spidey’s personal life is just as important as his crime-fighting one.

You can keep an eye out for a much more in-depth look at the new Spider-Man – including an interview with Insomniac’s community manager – in the September issue of STACK.

Pre-order the PS4 exclusive at JB Hi-Fi